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Metacognition and Learning Styles: Tools for Helping Students Achieve Improved Learning Strategies Saundra Y. McGuire, Ph.D., Director Center for Academic.

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Presentation on theme: "Metacognition and Learning Styles: Tools for Helping Students Achieve Improved Learning Strategies Saundra Y. McGuire, Ph.D., Director Center for Academic."— Presentation transcript:

1 Metacognition and Learning Styles: Tools for Helping Students Achieve Improved Learning Strategies Saundra Y. McGuire, Ph.D., Director Center for Academic Success Adj. Professor, Department of Chemistry Louisiana State University

2 National College Learning Center Association Frank L. Christ Outstanding Learning Center Award The Center for Academic Success

3 The Story of Five LSU Students Travis, junior psychology student 47, 52, 82, 86 Robert, freshman chemistry student 42, 100, 100, 100 Miriam, freshman calculus student 37.5, 83, 93 Maryam, freshman art student 57, 87 Terrence, junior Bio Engineering student GPA 1.67 cum, 3.54 (F 03), 3.8 (S 04)

4 Date of Final Exam:December 14, 2005 Meeting with Student No. 1:December 12, 2005 Meeting with Student Nos. 2 & 4:December 2, 2005 Meeting with Student No. 3:December 8, 2005 The final was worth 100 points with a 10 bonus question. Fall 2005

5 Desired outcomes We will understand why students spend little time studying and do not know how to learn We will have concrete learning strategies that faculty can teach students to increase learning, and we will be committed to trying some of these strategies in our classes We will have more resources for our students We will view our students differently We will see positive changes in our students performance and self-perception We will spend time reflecting on improving our teaching and our students learning

6 Overview Characteristics of todays learners Types and levels of learning Cognitive Science Findings General Learning Strategies Concept Mapping Activity Factors Influencing Student Motivation Wrap Up

7 Reflection Questions What is the difference, if any, between studying and learning? Which, if either, is more enjoyable? When did you learn the conceptual structure (relationships between basic concepts) of your discipline? When/why/how did you to learn this?

8 Paradigm Shift in Institutional Attitudes About Learning Teacher Centered Institutions Vs Learner Centered Institutions

9 The RSCC Mission Statement Roane State provides a challenging and nurturing learning environment which encourages and inspires students to meet the high expectations and standards needed for responsible citizenship and to embrace the concept of learning as a lifelong endeavor. Roane States success can only be measured by the success of its students and by maintaining its demonstrated reputation as a center for higher education excellence.

10 Characteristics of Many of Todays Students Working more hours More ADD/ADHD Interested in obtaining credentials Feel entitled to an A or B if they consistently attend class Few time management skills Few learning skills

11 Why dont students know how to learn or how to study? It wasnt necessary in high school - 66% of 2003 entering first year students spent less than six hours per week doing homework in 12 th grade. -More than 46% of these students said they graduated from high school with an A average. Students confidence level is high - 70% believe their academic ability is above average or in the highest 10 percent among people their age Higher Education Research Institute Study

12 Additional Reasons High Stakes Testing in high school forces teachers to teach to the test Students think everything they need is on the web and can be looked up Technological advances make it easier to function with less knowledge Misconceptions that interfere with learning

13 Student Misconceptions Who would have thought?!?

14 How might the institution exacerbate the problem? Orientation programs that stress fun, recreation, and campus organization involvement Helping students to schedule courses back to back with no breaks between Very large introductory classes Providing limited or no access to learning strategies information

15 How do some faculty members further add to the problem? By assigning homework and giving tests that require little, if any, higher order thinking By assessing learning too infrequently By providing limited feedback to students By putting notes on-line and advising students they dont need to purchase the textbook By having little ability to teach students concrete learning strategies

16 Faculty Must Help Students Learn How to Learn! Teach them the difference between learning (meaningful learning) and memorization (rote learning); help them understand the process Assess and provide feedback soon and often Help them determine their learning style Teach them specific learning strategies Implement pedagogical strategies that make them use the learning strategies

17 Rote Learning Involves verbatim memorization (which is easily forgotten) Cannot be manipulated or applied to novel situations (e.g. remembering phone numbers, dates, names, etc.)

18 Meaningful Learning Learning that is tied and related to previous knowledge and integrated with previous learning Can be manipulated, applied to novel situations, and used in problem solving tasks (e.g. comparing and contrasting the Arrhenius and B-L definitions of acids and bases.)

19 Evaluation Synthesis Analysis Application Comprehension Knowledge Making decisions and supporting views; requires understanding of values. Combining information to form a unique product; requires creativity and originality. Using information to solve problems; transferring abstract or theoretical ideas to practical situations. Identifying connections and relationships and how they apply. Restating in your own words; paraphrasing, summarizing, translating. Memorizing verbatim information. Being able to remember, but not necessarily fully understanding the material. Blooms Taxonomy Louisiana State University Center for Academic Success B-31 Coates Hall Identifying components; determining arrangement, logic, and semantics. Graduate School Undergraduate High School This pyramid depicts the different levels of thinking we use when learning. Notice how each level builds on the foundation that precedes it. It is required that we learn the lower levels before we can effectively use the skills above.

20 Example ~ Blooms Levels of Learning ~ Example ~ Blooms Levels of Learning ~ Applied to Goldilocks and the Three Bears Evaluation Judge Judge whether Goldilocks was good or bad. Defend your opinion. Synthesis Propose Propose how the story would be different if it were Goldilocks and the Three Fish. Analysis Compare Compare this story to reality. What events could not really happen. Application Demonstrate Demonstrate what Goldilocks would use if she came to your house. Comprehension Explain Explain why Goldilocks liked Baby Bears chair the best. Knowledge List List the items used by Goldilocks while she was in the Bears house. Courtesy of

21 Counting Vowels in 30 seconds How accurate are you?

22 Cognitive Science: The Science of the Mind Questions How do humans process information? How do people increase their knowledge? What factors influence learning? What types of learning facilitate transfer of information learned to new settings? How can we change teaching to improve learning?

23 Keys to Learning Based on Cognitive Science Findings Deep factual and procedural knowledge of a discipline is required to solve complex problems Learning is a continuous process; repetition is the key New knowledge must be tied to existing knowledge Learning should involve both sides of the brain and several learning styles

24 Experts vs. Novices They think differently about problems

25 Novices vs. Intelligent Novices Intelligent novices learn new domains more quickly than other novices The metacognitive skills make the difference

26 What intelligent novices know Learning is different from memorization Solving problems without looking at the solution is different from using the solution as a model Comprehension of reading material must be tested while the reading is in progress Knowledge is not handed out by the instructor; it is constructed by the learner

27 Turn Students into Expert Learners: Metacognition and Learning Styles are the Keys!

28 Metacognition thinking about thinking being consciously aware of yourself as a problem solver Planning, monitoring, and controlling your mental processing

29 The Study Cycle Phase 1: Read or preview chapter(s) to be covered in class… before class. Phase 2: GO TO CLASS! Listen actively, take notes, participate in class. Phase 3: Review and process class notes as soon after class as possible. Phase 4: Implement Intense Study Sessions. Repeat

30 Intense Study Sessions n 2-5 minutes: Set Goals n minutes: STUDY with FOCUS and ACTION (Read your text, create flash cards, create maps and/or outlines, work problems -without peeking at the answers, quiz yourself…) Achieve your goal! n 5 minutes Take a break n 5 minutes Review what you have just studied n Repeat *Once a week review the entire weeks notes and problems

31 Active Learning Strategies Get Involved Ask Questions Recite and Write Review Reflect (megacognate?)

32 Good notes are essential for meaningful learning

33 Cornell Note Taking Format Uses of notes identify major points identify minor points There are 4 Kinds of Notes: Running Text Formal Outline Informal Outline Cornell Note system Recall Column: Notes on Taking Notes, 08/04/08 Reduce ideas and facts to concise summaries and cues for reciting, reviewing and reflecting over here.

34 Getting the Most Out of Homework: Effective Strategy for Problem Solving Start the problems early--the day they are assigned Do not flip back to see example problems; work them yourself! Dont give up too soon (<15 min.) Dont spend too much time (>30 min.)

35 Concept maps facilitate development of higher order thinking skills

36 Mapping Molar mass grams formula Colligative properties Fp. Dep; b.p. elev. Symbols + subscripts moles

37 Compare and Contrast AcidsBases How are they similar? How are they different?

38 Create a Chapter Map Title of Chapter Primary Headings Subheadings Secondary Subheadings

39 Time for a Break!

40 Learning Strategies Should be Based on Learning Style

41 Learning Styles Influence how we take in information from the outside world Influence how we process information Influence how we interact with others Influence our motivation for learning different subjects Influence our frustration level with learning tasks

42 Brain Dominance Personality Modality Learning Style Diagnostics

43 Hemispheric Preference Left Brain vs. Right Brain –Right Brain: visual, intuitive, holistic, abstract, spatial and main ideas; use charts, maps, time lines, graphs, or visualization as study tools –Left Brain: verbal, logical, linear, concrete, time oriented, and details; use outlines, lecture notes, or the Cornell note taking format as study tools –Some students will be balanced

44 Personality Profile Modified Myers-Briggs ExtrovertIntrovert SensingiNtuitive ThinkingFeeling JudgingPerceiving

45 Modality (Sensory Preference) Visual: prefers pictures, symbols, charts, graphs, concept maps, etc. Aural or auditory: prefers hearing lectures, reading notes out loud, etc. Read/write: prefers flashcards, notes, lists, outlines, etc. Kinesthetic: prefers direct experience, mapping, charting, experiments, visualizing action, etc.

46 Whats YOUR Style? Left or right brain dominant? Personality Type Extrovert or Introvert? Sensing or Intuitive? Thinking or Feeling? Judging or Perceiving? Modality (Sensory Preference)? Visual, Aural, Read/Write Kinesthetic

47 Learning Style Inventories Many others!

48 Time Management is Life Management I

49 Big Rocks The question is this: What is the moral of the story when it comes to time management? Is this jar full? What if we fill it to the top with small rocks… would it be full? What if we fill it to the top with water… would it be full? What if we fill it to the top with sand… would it be full?

50 The Master To Do List Class #1 Ch. 4 10/13 Ch. 5 10/13 Ch. 6 10/15 Assignment Due 10/15 Ch. 7 10/19 Studio: pp /12 Project #1 3 references 10/14 drawings (3) 10/14 model 10/16 Class #3 Ch. 1510/13 Ch. 1710/15 Ch. 1810/20 Class #4 Homework10/14 Ch. 310/14 Review Ch. 2 10/15 Life: Moms Birthday card send 10/15) Master To Do List: Date to be completed: Sunday, Oct. 17th Monday, Oct. 11 Class 1, Ch. 4 Review pp Homework Buy card Clyde Complete forms Pick up materials Library, 3 references Pay bills Weekly Master To Do List

51 Week of Monday ____________________________ to Sunday ____________________________ Class: Other: Class: Download this form in the Time Management Online workshop at

52 Time Management Tips from Students Have a visionSet goals Know YOUR unique time management style Study when the sun is out Avoid napping Develop patterns This is what I do Think of yourself as a Professional Student Kill the TV, cell phone, video game… /chat/Facebook…only as a reward Exercise Eat well Drink water Take breaks Have fun

53 Motivation In the academy, the term motivating means stimulating interest in a subject and, therefore, the desire to learn it. (Nilson, 57)

54 Motivation to Learn Study Hobson 2000 & 2001 (n=412) Positive motivation: –Teachers attitudes & behaviors 27.1 % –Course structure 22.5% –Intrinsic 19.8 % –Course content 17.0 % –Perform. Measures 10.0 % –Vocational/financial 1.4 % –Learning environ. 1.1 % –Parents/others 1.0 % Negative motivation: –Teachers attitudes & behaviors 31.6 % –Course structure: 25.9 % –Learning environ % –Course content 10.8 % –Intrinsic 10.0 % –Perform. measures 7.5 % –Parents/others 0.9 % –Vocational/financial 0.3 %

55 Motivation Boosters Partial credit for partially correct answers Letting students use their own problem solving method Flexible grading scale based on student performance Demonstrated personal interest in, and belief that EVERY student can succeed!

56 Motivation Busters Multiple choice tests with no opportunity for partial credit Requiring students to use one problem solving method Absolute grading scale with no flexibility Attitude that most students are not prepared to do well, and probably wont! Assessment that is not closely tied to what students learned

57 Answer the following questions:* In baseball, how many outs are there in an inning? A rancher has 33 head of cattle standing in a field, when suddenly a bolt of lightning kills all but 9 of them. How many head of cattle are left standing? Some months have 31 days, and some months have 30 days. But how many have 28 days? Two U.S. coins are worth a total of $0.30, and one of them is not a nickel. What are the coins? *

58 Strategies that Work Learning Style & Personality Assessments Note taking Systems Concept Mapping The Study Cycle with Intense Study Sessions Time Management Tools Test Taking Strategies Metacognitive Reflections

59 Strategies that have worked at Other Schools Integrating study strategies techniques into class structure Teaching and requiring concept mapping Setting up collaborative working groups in class Implementing Supplemental Instruction Offering Service-Learning courses

60 Chem 1001 Results Spring 2007 Test 1 Test 2 Final Total points Attended SYM Lecture on 3/2 Did not attend Class average *app. 80 attendees out of 200 students because session was on a Friday afternoon. Exam 1 was Wednesday, March 7.

61 Reflection Question Who is primarily responsible for student learning? a) the student b) the instructor c) the institution

62 Our students can significantly increase their learning! We must teach them the learning process and strategies We must use pedagogical strategies that motivate students to learn

63 What Learning Strategy Can You Teach that Might Improve Student Performance in Your Course?

64 Final Note Please visit the websites at and We have information and on-line workshops that will introduce you and your students to effective study strategies techniques. Please feel free to contact me at I wish you great success as you help your students SAIL at Roane State Community College! Saundra McGuire

65 References Bruer, John T., Schools For Thought: A Science of Learning in the Classroom. MIT Press. Bransford, J.D., Brown, A.L., Cocking, R.R. (Eds.), How people learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School. Washington, DC: National Academy Press. Cromley, Jennifer, Learning to Think, Learning to Learn: What the Science of Thinking and Learning Has to Offer Adult Education. Washington, DC: National Institute for Literacy. Halpern, D.F and Hakel, M.D. (Eds.), Applying the Science of Learning to University Teaching and Beyond. New York, NY: John Wiley and Sons, Inc. Kameenui and Carnine, Effective Teaching Strategies That Accommodate Diverse Learners. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill Publishing Nilson, Linda, Teaching at Its Best: A Research-Based Resource for College Instructors. Bolton, MA: Anker Publishing Company. Taylor, S. (1999). Better learning through better thinking: Developing students metacognitive abilities. Journal of College Reading and Learning, 30(1), 34ff. Retrieved November 9, 2002, from Expanded Academic Index ASAP. Zull, James (2004). The Art of Changing the Brain. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.

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